17/01/2018 11:26 GMT | Updated 17/01/2018 13:04 GMT

'EastEnders' Spoilers: Alfie Moon Actor Shane Richie Explains Why He Turned Down Chance To Return

'Trust me, it's not because I have loads of money.'

Shane Richie has spoken about his choice not to return to ‘EastEnders’.

Last year, Shane and his on-screen wife Jessie Wallace appeared as Alfie and Kat Moon in spin-off drama ‘Redwater’, which ended on a cliffhanger, leaving both characters’ lives hanging in the balance in separate situations.

But while Kat’s return to ‘EastEnders’ has already been confirmed, fans were left puzzled when it was revealed that Alfie wouldn’t be joining her, and Shane has now explained why this is.

BBC Pictures
Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie

He told Liverpool’s Radio City: “I’m in a fortunate position where I can pick and choose what I want to do, and ’EastEnders at the moment, I said no to it.

“I just need to take a break from television and a little break away from showbiz.”

Joking that his decision hadn’t been because he has “loads of money”, Shane added: “That is far from the truth. But I just need to pick and choose.”

Shane did previously confirm that his character is not dead, though when we’ll see him back in Albert Square, and the reason why Alfie is not back on the scene, remain to be seen.

Kat isn’t the only Slater returning to the show, as it was previously revealed that Big Mo and Jean Slater will also be back in Walford later this year.

John Yorke, who is serving as showrunner on ‘EastEnders’, said: “The Slaters are one of the all-time great families in ‘EastEnders’ and Albert Square has never felt quite the same since they scattered to different ends of the country, and in some cases beyond.  

“It has been a real joy to find a way to bring them back together and we’re incredibly excited about where we are taking them next.”

HuffPost UK has contacted an ‘EastEnders’ spokesperson for comment. 

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